Saturday, March 25, 2017

Stage 20 is another short but intense mountain stage, running 110.5kms from Modane Valfrejus to Alpe d’Huez.  While it would be difficult for anyone to catch Froome’s lead at this point, the battle for the podium seems to continue after Nibali’s daring escapade yesterday—unless he burnt too much energe.  Quintana, meanwhile, seemed to have lots in reserve, so maybe he will launch an attack and add his name to the list of those who have summited Alpe d’Huez first.

 

 

The intermediate sprint occurs as 94.5kms in Bourg-D’Oisans, and there are two climbs:

  • Km 56.0 - Col de la Croix de Fer (2 067 m)29 kilometre-long climb at 5.2% - category H
  • Km 110.5 - ALPE D'HUEZ13.8 kilometre-long climb at 8.1% - category H

Originally, the route was supposed to climb the Galibier, but a road closure and the risk of landslide pushed the race organizers to reroute to cover the Col de la Croix de Fer instead.  But, it is Alpe d’Huez that remains the race favorite for fans and legend for riders.  While it’s not the hardest of the climbs, its 21 hairpin bends are famous.  And one statistic of Alpe d’Huez speaks loud and clear: 22/28 times, the man in yellow after the climb wins the Tour.  So, after today, we should know all of the jerseys, and GC should be pretty well nailed down baring any unforeseen circumstances.  But, Stage 20 is still a day to play for anyone dare seeking glory.  

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